I love Jesus ,but I swear a lot. I saw a version of that sentence on one of those someecards floating around years ago and I immediately decided it was going to be my Real Housewives tagline. It was written explicitly for me and I should probably get it tattooed on my body.
I think a lot of us agree that using swear words is fun. If you don’t agree with this statement then this may not be the right mom blog for you. I learned all about swearing at a young age because my dad is a huge sports fan who actually believes the players and coach of the team he’s watching can hear him through the television. Not only would he swear a lot, but it was loudly. And because he’s a Tampa sports fan, there’s A LOT of yelling at the tv. We recently had to teach Olivia all about Papa’s football yelling. One day when we were over, Papa was in his sports room watching the Bucs. Right when Olivia decided she wanted to go in and see Papa, something bad happened in the game and Papa yelled. Loudly. Probably said fuck a few times. And fired the coach through the tv. Olivia came running back to my mother crying because Papa yelled. “Aww baby it’s just the Bucs causing Papa to yell. They’re really bad this year.” When the Bucs play, it’s best to be in another room or just not be at their house at all.
My mother, on the other hand, rarely swears. Maybe I’ve heard her swear five times in my life, only when she’s really really mad, and never at me (well, maybe once). My mom is what you would call a “classy lady”. She got this from her amazingly beautiful and classy mother, but no matter how hard she tried, even sending me to etiquette school, I just did not inherit that gene. Which means that there are many times she has been absolutely horrified by me.
So let’s do an aside here on how I have horrified my mother just in the past few years (going back further would result in a memoir, and really, that’s her story to tell):
I called my two year old daughter an asshole. Not to her face (that time), just in conversation about the way she was behaving. There was no other word for it, and it felt amazing to call her that behind her back. Calling children assholes is an incredible release. If I hear another mother refer to her children as assholes, I immediately invite her over for wine night.
My Mom: “I can’t believe you would call your daughter an asshole”. Now, let’s pause there for a second. My mom really can’t believe that I would call my daughter an asshole? It’s either confidence in me that I will one day get my shit together and be a proper lady, or complete denial. I love that woman.
When I was pregnant with Olivia, Rich and I dressed up for Halloween as a trailer trash couple, full of my large belly hanging out. I got this text from my mom after she saw the pics on Facebook:
“I can’t believe you would disgrace your pregnancy with that horrible costume! Take that picture down. What if your aunt saw that?” (I checked Facebook to see if I still had it up but I listened to my mom and actually deleted it. However, my raised Catholic mother had no problem with me dressing up as the Virgin Mary and Rich as Jesus the year before).
When I posted a picture of my 4 year old standing in front of our Christmas tree with just her underwear and a Santa hat. Mom thought it was tasteless. I thought it should be next years’ Christmas card. You can form your own opinion:
She also blames me for my husband’s lack of taste or discretion on social media. Here’s a list of his posts I got text messages on (that I can remember off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s more):
Hillary Clinton in a star spangled bathing suit.
Hillary Clinton in a prison jumpsuit.
Hillary Clinton as Cersei Lannister during her walk of shame.
When he changed his Facebook profile picture to Donald Trump.
When he tried to appease her by changing his profile picture to a woman dressed in a vagina costume at one of the women’s rallies.
A picture of girls in Japan wearing flesh colored bathing suits.
A zit being popped.
Back to swearing. I really do love to say the F word. It just goes with everything, like a fine wine. Or any wine, for that matter. Shit is probably my favorite though and I’m starting to use it to refer to poop a lot more lately, which is obviously not good for my girls: “did you shit your pants again baby Brooke?”. Asshole is a great swear word too, as “what an asshole!” just flows so easily. I used to be very careful about swearing as I am, believe it or not, a Christian, but as I grew older and wiser, I’ve decided that being a good Christian has nothing to do with swearing (besides saying the Lord’s name in vain. I fucking love an angry “G— Damnit, but I try to limit that as much as possible). Swear words are just words. Just a few letters put together to make sounds.
Obviously the issue with swearing is doing it around my children. I never realized how young kids are when they start picking up on these words, and just knowing inherently they’re bad. I really thought I had more time. Olivia was barely two when she used the word “shit” in the right context. When that happens, it’s hard to one: not laugh, and two: not be totally impressed. After my husband and I tried to hide our laughs, we told Olivia that shit is a potty word and it’s not nice to use. Like responsible parents. It’s not just words either. A few months before this, Rich left work earlier than I did and would pick up Olivia from daycare and wait for me to get home. He was starting getting into Dexter around this time and would binge watch it while Olivia played with her toys. What she was really doing was paying attention to everything that was going on and this lead to Olivia trying to stab him in the leg with a butter knife one day while he was doing dishes. Funny, not funny.
I’ve tried using “fudge” for a while but its just not the same, and when I’m really angry it’s hard to remember to use it. I do like how they swear in the Kristen Bell/Ted Danson show The Good Place, saying “fork you” and “holy forking shirtballs!”. If I were to calm down my incessant swearing, I can totally be down with “fork off”. (Side note – that show is awesome, watch it).
Swearing doesn’t make you a bad person, a bad Christian, or a bad parent. Sometimes it just happens and there’s nothing you can do about it. As long as we teach our kids that “Mommy/Daddy/Papa got a little upset and are sorry for saying those potty words” and that they should not say those words as it’s not polite, especially in school, you’re good (I’ll try this next time…). Yes, try to practice restraint when you can, but really, curse words are fucking awesome and if that means I won’t be nominated for Mother of the fucking Year, well, that’s just one reason out of many.